Worried that you or someone you love is addicted to Ambien? You’ve taken a proper step by coming here to research ambien addiction.
Ambien is a non-benzodiazepine, short-acting hypnotic used for treating insomnia and some brain disorders. While not infamously addictive, some people do develop serious problems with the drug.
Dependence vs Addiction
Firstly, understand that these aren’t one in the same. The line is a fuzzy one, but it’s there. Still, since you’ve become worried enough to end up here reading this, that fuzzy line has likely been crossed.
Dependence is a normal part of most drug treatments. Patients depend on drugs to correct the deficits they are intended to correct. The danger comes in when users take a drug to feel high; that’s abuse.
After about a month of taking Ambien on a daily basis, the brain and central nervous system becomes dependent on the presence of zolpidem. Again, this alone does not represent a problem, just the mechanism through which the medication aids in sleep. This does, however, shed light on Ambien addiction.
Signs of Addiction
Ambien addiction is rare compared to other sleep-aid drugs, like Ativan. Still, the drug can be habit-forming—and the presence of Ambien addiction can be tricky to recognize. It’s obvious when users take too much of the drug, but that’s only one possible sign of the disease.
According to the DSM-IV, other telltale signs of Ambien addiction include:
– using the drug for nonmedical purposes
– continued use despite negative consequences in life
– not being able to quit
– purchasing the drug illicitly
– psychological urges and cravings
– withdrawals symptoms when quitting
Treating Ambien Addiction
Like most drug addictions, Ambien addiction is treatable through detox, physical stabilization, and pharmacological and behavioral treatments. All this is done under medical supervision.
As zolpidem leaves the body, patients are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms—the intensity of which can be lessened by tapering. Throughout the weeks and months that follow the initial withdrawal period, patients should work with healthcare professionals to address lingering symptoms like anxiety, depression, and sleep issues that may have been exacerbated by the drug abuse.
Medications like benzodiazepines and sedative-hypnotics may be recommended, although most of these present the risk of substituting one addiction for another.
Finally, long-term treatment—therapy, support groups, etc—is essential for Ambien addicts because so much of the addiction has to do with the formation of negative habits, behaviors, and thought processes.
If you feel that one or more of the symptoms of ambien addiction (as seen above) apply to you, consult with your physician about treatment. While not a particularly infamous addiction, Ambien addiction is a serious condition and disease that requires medical intervention to be treated properly.